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Cablegate: Update for Senegal: Worst Forms of Child Labor

VZCZCXRO3543
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #2999/01 3600755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260755Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7148
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0799
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 002999

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL/IL - TDANG, G/TIP, AF/EPS AND AF/W
DOL/ILAB FOR TMCARTER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM SOCI KCRM SG
SUBJECT: UPDATE FOR SENEGAL: WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR

REF: A. STATE 184972
B. 05 DAKAR 2137

DAKAR 00002999 001.2 OF 002


1. On August 11, 2006, post provided comments on the final draft
text of the U.S. Department of Labor's 2005 Worst Forms of Child
Labor Report for Senegal, which included earlier Post input (Ref B).
The situation in Senegal has changed little since August. The
following information is keyed to Ref A request to update the 2005
report.

A) LAWS AND REGULATIONS PROSCRIBING THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR

2. Since the publication of the DOL's 2005 Worst Forms of Child
Labor Report for Senegal, the Government of President Abdoulaye Wade
has not passed additional laws or regulations governing child labor.
In 2005, Senegal's National Assembly passed a law against
trafficking. Senegal, therefore, has in place adequate legal
authority to enforce child labor laws and to monitor and prosecute
abusers. Traffickers, who are facilitating illegal immigration to
Europe, are being prosecuted under this legislation. On December 6,
Ambassador John Miller (G/TIP) participated in a Digital Video
Conference that concluded a day-long public awareness program on the
new law and trafficking in and through Senegal.

B) REGULATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF
PROSCRIPTIONS AGAINST THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR

3. Senegal's laws and regulations continue to require additional
harmonization to effectively combat the worst forms of child labor.
For example, education is compulsory until the age of sixteen for
all children, however, at age 15, children are legally allowed to
work.

4. The Ministry of Labor implements and enforces child labor laws
and regulations. Its Labor Inspectors are responsible for
investigating and initiating lawsuits in child labor cases. They
have the authority to visit any factory or shop to verify and
investigate compliance with labor laws. However, this office is
understaffed and under-funded, and monitoring, especially in the
informal sector, continues to be weak. The majority of
investigations initiated by Labor Inspectors are initiated after
reports of violations raised by unions or after denunciations by
other companies.

5. Overall, the level of resources the GOS devotes to investigating
child labor cases is insufficient. Sources from the Ministry of
Labor indicated that there are an estimated 50 Labor Inspectors in
Senegal of who only 5 to 10 deal with child labor issues. Post
knows of no cases in which criminal penalties or civil fines have
actually been imposed for child labor violations in Senegal.

C) WHETHER THERE ARE SOCIAL PROGRAMS TO PREVENT AND WITHDRAW
CHILDREN FROM THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR

6. On October 10, 2006, a special "Presidential Council on Street
Children" recommended the creation of an ambitious new partnership
("One Child, One Family") that includes the Government, the World
Bank, NGOs, religious leaders, and donors to protect and withdraw
children from the street. The goal is to provide the children with
a foster family environment and confirm they are actually receiving
an education. The Council also asked for improvements in law
enforcement and in the educational system to help remove children
from the streets. In a December 2006 publication, the World Bank
estimated that more than 100,000 children (from ages 2 to 15) beg on
the streets of Dakar. [NOTE: the World Bank has proposed a
comprehensive survey of child beggars but the program is not yet
funded. END NOTE.]

D) DOES THE COUNTRY HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY AIMED AT THE
ELIMINATION OF THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR?

7. Following the recommendations of the World Summit for Children
in 1989 Senegal established a National Committee, "National
Committee for Children" to coordinate with NGOs fighting child
labor. However, activities for most of these NGOs, except Plan
International, are dependent on GOS funds, which are inadequate. An
inter-ministerial committee, which includes the Ministry of Labor
and the Ministry of Women, Family, Social Development and Women's
Entrepreneurship, is in place to coordinate this program, which, at
this time, covers only 6 of Senegal's 11 regions. Some regions like
Ziguinchor, Kolda and Tambacounda, with significant levels of child
trafficking and sexual exploitation are not included.

E) IS THE COUNTRY MAKING CONTINUAL PROGRESS TOWARD ELIMINATING THE
WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR?

8. Senegal continues to make incremental progress in addressing the

DAKAR 00002999 002.2 OF 002


worst forms of child labor, but the problem persists. The GOS
includes the elimination of the worst forms of child labor by 2015
as a policy priority in its overarching Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Senegal's Department of Statistics and Economic Study, in
conjunction with the ILO's Department of Statistics, is finalizing a
major survey on the worst forms of child labor in Senegal.
Scheduled to be released in early 2007, this report is designed to
provide, for the first time in Senegal, comprehensive data on the
child labor situation and how it has changed over the past year.
[NOTE: Post will forward to the Department and DOL the results of
this study as soon as they are available. END NOTE.]

9. Mr. Aliou Seck, ILO-IPEC coordinator for Senegal, told us that,
as in FY 06, Senegal's FY 07 budget will include approximately USD
18 million for "child welfare" programs, including additional
measures to address child labor issues in particular street children
and beggars. At least some of this money should be available to
examine fraudulent religious schools that are often a front for
child begging, and to fund programs for the street children,
underage domestic workers, and the sexual exploitation of children.


10. Seck is also pursuing a 2007 GOS-IPEC program to reinforce
capacity building of judges and Labor Inspectors, improve Senegal's
legal framework (such as the discrepancy between the legal age for
ending school and beginning work), reinforce the campaign against
exploiting child beggars, and improve the public awareness effort,
particularly among Senegal's opinion leaders.

COMMENT
-------
11. Despite the enhanced attention paid to child labor and
trafficking, with an annual population growth rate of 2.5 percent,
increasing demands on an already over-burdened education system
(public, private, and religious), and a stagnant economy, there will
be no quick solution for Senegal's child labor problems. The ILO's
Seck told us recently that the establishing even a minimal program
to monitor the vast problem of child domestic workers is not even on
the GOS's radar screen. END COMMENT.

Jackson

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